US, India share interest in Afghanistan: McCain
WASHINGTON (PAJHWOK): Noting that the United States and India have common interest in Afghanistan, a top Republican Senator, John McCain, has said that the decision of the US President Barack Obama to pull out American troops from this country has security implications on both the US and India.
“Before it was a safe haven for the terrorists who attacked America on September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was a base of terrorists that targeted India. Our Indian friends remember this well, even if we do not,” McCain who head to India later this week, said on the Senate floor.
McCain said: “For this reason I am deeply concerned about the consequences of the President's plan to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan by 2016, not only for US national security but also for the national security of our friends in India.”
If Afghanistan goes the way of Iraq in the absence of US forces, it would leave India with a clear and present danger on its periphery, he said adding that it would constrain India's rise and its ability to devote resources and attention to shared foreign policy challenges elsewhere in Asia and beyond.
“It could push India toward deeper cooperation with Russia and Iran in order to manage the threats posed by a deteriorating Afghanistan. And it would erode India's perception of the credibility and capability of US power and America's reliability as a strategic partner,” the Arizona Senator said.
“The bottom line here is clear: India and the United States have a shared interest in working together to end the scourge of extremism and terrorism that threatens stability, freedom, and prosperity across South Asia and beyond. The President's current plan to disengage from Afghanistan is a step backward from this goal, and thus does not serve the US-India strategic partnership,” McCain said.
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